Saturday, April 05, 2014

Safety warning for dieters and athletes: Dexaprine

A troubling wave of new untested products may be invading dietary supplements. 

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) warns consumers of diet pills called Dexaprine and advises them to stop using this product. Dexaprine is a product used by athletes and people who want to lose weight. It is sold in the Netherlands through online shops.
From the National Poisons Information Centre (NVIC) UMC Utrecht and the NVWA there are report of a total of 11 serious complaints from people who used Dexaprine to lose weight. After just one tablet side effects may occur as cardiac arrest, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea and headaches. 
Various reports show that Acacia rigidula contains amphetamine and methamphetamine, both of which are marketed as recreational drugs.  In a1998 study with the increasingly popularity of slimming supplements with Acacia rigidula, it prompted researchers at the FDA to take a closer look atAcacia rigidula.
More in an abstract:
Extracts of Acacia rigidula leaves are used in weight-loss products sold in vitamin shops and over the internet with little or no published data about their potential biological effects. In our chemical investigations on authenticated A. rigidula plant material, we established a rapid and sensitive LC-MS/MS method for the quantitative determination of several phenethylamine, tyramine and tryptamine derivatives. Stable isotopically labeled compounds were used as internal standards for quantitative analysis. We found total calculated contents of 6 biogenic amines in A. rigidula leaf of 18.6 and 32.9μg/g. The content of selected amines in 21 dietary supplements labeled as containing A. rigidula was determined by a second LC-MS/MS method. Our study revealed significant differences in the amine profiles of authenticated plant materials and dietary supplements. β-Methylphenethylamine, a non-natural compound, was found in 9 of the 21 dietary supplement products. β-Methylphenethylamine was found at levels of 960-60,500μg/g while phenethylamine was found at levels of 710-171,620μg/g. β-Methylphenethylamine is a positional isomer of amphetamine and our results showed that it can be misidentified as amphetamine during LC-MS analysis. An independent GC-MS analysis was used to confirm the presence of β-methylphenethylamine and the absence of amphetamine in dietary supplements labeled as containing A. rigidula. This study demonstrates that confirmations by independent analytical methods are essential to verify findings of unusual or unexpected compounds in dietary supplements.